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Lawyers 101

How Do I Find A Lawyer?

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Generally, people find a lawyer through a referral by someone who has dealt with a similar matter and found legal assistance good enough to recommend. The referral can come from anyone in your network. For instance, members of a support group, staff at a disease specific not-for-profit organization, counselors and therapists, medical providers, social workers and other people you come into contact with related to your medical condition.

Other sources to consider are the following:

Referral Services

Most state and local bar associations establish referral services that operate under very strict rules in an attempt to refer people in a fair manner. Referral services will refer you to lawyers who practice in the field of law in which you have a need. Many of these services are operated by local bar associations or nonprofit groups. Some provide free referrals. Others make a minimal charge that may include the initial consultation. (For contact information for your local bar association, see: offsite link)

Most Yellow Pages list lawyer referral services right in front of the listing either attorneys or lawyers.

Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory

Martindale-Hubbell is a free service that lists lawyers, their specialties and backgrounds. on line. See: offsite link.

Yellow Pages and other telephone directories

Many directories separate the lists of lawyers by field of law. Unfortunately, any lawyer can be listed under any topic provided he or she pays the fee. There is no way to measure quality or experience.

Online referral services

Online referral services are very similar to local referral services, but are much broader. If you enter "lawyers" "attorneys" or "finding a lawyer" into almost any browser, it will bring-up a multitude of services that separate attorneys by geographical location and area of law practice.

Specialized referral services

Certain areas of the law have organizations that maintain referral sites within that field of law. For example:

  • Social Security: NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives): offsite link, Tel.: 800.431.2804.
  • Health Law: American Health Lawyers Association, 1120 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 950, Washington, DC 20036, Tel.: 202.833.1100, offsite link.
  • offsite link matches clients to lawyers by asking you to post information about your situation. The listing is then sent to lawyers who indicated they have expertise in those areas. Interested lawyers contact you. You make the decision which lawyer to use. The site states that your identity is kept confidential until you choose a lawyer with whom to work.

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